Tzav: A Summary of the Parashah

God tells Moses to describe the rituals for some of the offerings to the priests; the priests then undergo the process of ordination.

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These are the rituals of the burnt offering, the homage offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the offering of ordination, and the sacrifices of well-being with which the Lord charged Moses on Mount Sinai, when God commanded that the Israelites present their offerings to the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai.

Then God told Moses to assemble Aaron and his sons and the whole community at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Aaron and his sons washed thoroughly then dressed with all the priestly vestments. Moses took the anointed oil and anointed the Tabernacle and all that was within it. He dedicated it to the Lord.

A bull was then sacrificed as a sin offering. A ram was sacrificed as a burnt offering. A second ram, the ram of ordination, was sacrificed as an offering by fire before the Lord. Then Moses consecrated Aaron and his sons and their vestments in order to dedicate them to the service of the Lord.

Then Moses told Aaron and his sons to cook the meat at the entrance of the Tent of Appointed Meeting and eat the bread in the basket of ordination. They should burn whatever flesh and bread is left in the fire. They must not remove themselves from the entrance of the Tent of Appointed Meeting, day or night, for seven days until the ordination is complete.

Aaron and his sons carried out all the utterances that God had commanded through Moses.

Questions for Discussion

1) What makes an offering to God holy?

2) Why must an offering be presented “by one’s own hand?”

3) Why do you think there are sacrifices made to God for peace and well-being? What kind of rituals do you do to show God your peace and well-being?

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Nancy Reuben Greenfield

Nancy Reuben Greenfield has written three adaptations of the Torah, including an
interactive family version at, and an engaging
Jewish immigrant novel, The Golden Medina, available on itunes and Amazon.